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Our World project begins

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On Heritage weekend (23 September), CBN held the first of a series of workshops around the landscape and lives of children in the Overstrand region. They got off to a cracking start!

Facilitators Primrose Mrwebi and Lesley Beake led the charge (after the necessary biscuits and juice for the children). We focused on two books about books and stories. Don’t Open this Book! by Andy Lee, an Australian book recently published in South Africa by Human and Rousseau. This book, as well as being pure fun, also explores the lines parents and teachers use when they want to stop children doing something. In this case, turning the pages of the book. DON’T DO IT! Of course, every child (and inner child in the case of adults) wants to turn the page. The ending is a delight – and totally unexpected.

The other featured book was Anthony Browne’s Into the Forest with the darker theme of family relationships told about a walk through the forest (‘DON’T go through the forest!’). Again the ending is unexpected and heart warming. Both these books will be revisited in subsequent workshops as the themes can be much more deeply explored.

Action with Primrose consisted of games to introduce, break the ice and learn to work together and cooperate as a group. A video clip of this features on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. (Video by new board member Hildegard Masayiti who we are very much looking forward to working with).

After a sandwich snack and a break outside, we broke up into three groups. One worked with Primrose on their own stories (to be continued) while the second group made and illustrated folders that will hold their work on this project.

The third group played the CBN reading game with Nyasha, the youngest member of our team. This is a new version of the game we have been playing for a year now – much more challenging and with a new twist. Instead of fiction, the players were presented with local brochures and asked to find information by reading maps, descriptions, captions and pictures. It was very warmly received and caused great hilarity and excitement. We also changed the books where some answers are found in the fact category. This time we made those too more advanced and asked for more in the way of reading skills and researching. This game will continue to grow and develop as we test out new ideas.

Time caught up with us and we had to reluctantly pack up. But a good start has been made on a challenging theme.

Image: Primrose Mrwebi begins the Writing our World project with Stanford children.

Many thanks to:
The Butterfly Centre for the use of their premises
The Worthing (UK) supporters who are funding this project
Primrose and Nyasha who travelled from Cape Town and Hermanus to be with us.
Sisilia and Nothando who made the sandwiches and assisted with everything.
Jay Heale who lent us a copy of Don’t Open this book!
Emily Hallinan who donated a copy of Into the forest.